Sparrow: Stop playing games. Start playing guitar.

Video game advertising is a wonderful beast – but it comes second to using video games to advertise other things. Guitar company Sparrow have done just that with their latest campaign, parroting the age-old sentiment that people should play real music on real instruments, not just prance around with funny-shaped controllers. And the resulting ad is pretty cute:

Sparrow Guitars

Sparrow Guitars

The “about” section of Sparrow‘s website suggests the feelings weren’t just spouted for the poster, either:

“Time has not been kind to the electric guitar. Once a dangerous and revered tool in rock ‘n’ roll’s arsenal, the mighty battle axe and amplified phallic symbol has been castrated over the years–smashed to pieces and set on fire by its wielders, all but ignored in hip hop circles and rendered obsolete by the World Air Guitar Championships and video games like Guitar Hero.”

Canadian ad agency Rethink have paired their pop-culture reference with a subtle hint that we play games on couches covered in crumbs and half-eaten food, with the text “Stop playing games. Start playing guitar.” Understandably, it’s caused a little backlash – the people who play games aren’t really likely to pick up a “real” guitar, no matter how much they might rock out on Expert mode – but really, I think it’s quirky, a bit clever, and it’s certainly gotten people talking.

For what it’s worth, Teen Spirit actually smells like “Sweet Strawberry” or “Pink Crush”, these days (and you can still buy it at certain retailers), but Kurt wasn’t bothered by that and neither should you be.

(Crossposted to MusicPron.)

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